Flash those pearly whites: Small business owners who smile are better able to keep customers coming back, according to new research from Kingston’s Small Business Research Centre.
Pretty simple, right? The problem is that the majority of people don’t do it. The study found that only about half of the 1,216 business people flashed a grin.
That’s bad news considering “smiling is the single most important body language cue to indicate friendliness and safety,” according to Patti Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma.
And it can benefit you in an array of other arenas, too. After all, making those around you comfortable is vital to success, says Robert Blackburn, Ph.D., who conducted the study. It’s also a surefire way to become the go-to guy—no one wants to work with a negative Nancy or sign on with a close-minded team.
Use your grin to your advantage: A recent study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that when men made not-so-pleasant comments, people were more likely to lighten up if they flashed a grin than if they didn’t. When you see a smile, you automatically see that person in a positive light. It’s how your brain is wired.